Dutch News

7 July 2014
Why is the Dutch football team so successful?

The Dutch are still very busy getting used to the success the national football team has in the world cup football in Brazil. Besides this there is still critics on the new defensive style of playing. The old 'Dutch school' style of the football team was attractive, dominant and attacking. Instead now the Dutch wait for the opponent and play on the counter attack. What are the reasons behind the success of the Dutch football team?

A sport journalist of the newspaper De Volkskrant looks for answers, and creates an analytic overview of the worldwide Dutch influence on football. To him the success is a result of a long, thorough training of football talent and training them in understanding the dimensions and positions on the football pitch. For years the education of Dutch youth players is setting the tone globally. But according to the journalist the difference are getting much smaller.


For many years the youth training of football club Ajax from Amsterdam is known for its high quality and for educating big talents like Johan Cruyff, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, but also foreign players like Zlatan Ibrahimović and yes, also Luiz Suzarez. But in the Dutch football team of today most of the players are educated at Feyenoord. Most of them even still play in Rotterdam. But also Robin van Persie and defender Ron Vlaar originally come from the Feyenoord football school.


But it turns out that there is loads of Dutch football expertise everywhere in the world. Around 600 trainers, educators, managers and players are active in at least 80 countries. From Australia to Azerbeidzjan, and from China to Tanzania. Everywhere in the world Dutch  football experts are active. And while in the Netherlands the Dutch national competition is often characterised as a ‘Mickey Mouse’ competition, next season trainers like Louis van Gaal, the Koeman Borthers and Andries Jonker will work for Manchester United, South Hampton and Arsenal.  


Another explanation is the professional way the Dutch football  system is organised. The Dutch football association has 1.2 million members and every week 33 thousand football matches take place. This makes the Netherlands one of the football nations in the world. Of the countries in the quarter finals of this world cup, as much as 32 players had at least part of their football education in the Netherlands. All in all not bad for a country as small as the city Sao Paolo.





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